Saxon Switzerland, Germany

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Dramatic and unusual landscapes fill this region in eastern Germany (not Switzerland), which has more than 700 summits for rock climbers and hundreds of kilometres of marked hiking trails. The park’s prime attraction has to be the Bastei, a rock formation towering 194 metres above the river Elbe and linked by a sandstone bridge that cuts through it. The 112km Malerweg trail is a well-trodden route, through a landscape famed for inspiring painters and artists. The park also extends into the Czech Republic. This section, called Bohemian Switzerland, has its own geographical oddity in the form of the Pravčická brána, Europe’s largest natural sandstone arch.

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